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WD My Book Live Duo Reviewed

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Updated 4/2/2012: Added WD 2go review link
My Book Live Duo
At a glance
ProductWestern Digital WDBVHT0040JCH My Book Live Duo   [Website]
SummaryDual drive My Book NAS based on 800 MHz Applied Micro APM82181 w/ much improved remote access.
Pros• Freshened interface
• Easy peasy remote access
• Apple Time Machine backup
• NAS snapshot backups
Cons• All-or-nothing for NAS backup
• Confusing RAID 1 fail recovery indicators

Typical Price: $310  Compare Prices  Check Amazon

I have to thank a reader for suggesting I review WD's dual-bay version of its top-selling (at least according to Amazon and Pricegrabber rankings) consumer NAS. I missed the announcement in January amid the flurry of other CES news. But a request to WD's crack PR team brought one to the SNB lab, stat!

The Duo looks like a double-wide version of its single-drive sibling that I reviewed back in fall 2010, coming clothed in the same subdued matte charcoal grey plastic shell. Like its thinner cousin, the Duo's front panel carries only a lone, tiny light that changes colors and blinks depending on what it is trying to tell you (Figure 1).

WD My Book Live Duo LED codes

Figure 1: WD My Book Live Duo LED codes

Figure 2 shows the rear of the Live Duo, which differs from the Live single in having a USB 2.0 port. You can attach USB drives here for sharing or backup, but no printers are allowed.

WD My Book Live Duo rear panel

Figure 2: WD My Book Live Duo rear panel


I was able to slip off the Duo's plastic covers and get to its inner metal card cage where the processor board sits in the space between the two drives. The cage's fiendishly clever design (at least to me) resisted my attempts to get it apart, so I was only able to get the angled shot of the board shown in Figure 3.

WD My Book Live Duo inside

Figure 3: WD My Book Live inside

Fortunately, the Support > System Report feature generates and saves a full set of logs right to your desktop. So I was able to comb through the Linux dmesg log to figure out the key components. It turns out that the design is essentially the same as the Live, even though the board is different.

The only difference I can discern is that WD says that the Live Duo uses an 800 MHz processor vs. the 1 GHz Applied Micro APM82181 I found on the Live. RAM complement is the same at 256 MB and so is flash at 512 KB. A single Broadcom BCM54610 provides the Gigabit Ethernet LAN port, which doesn't support jumbo frames.

WD has switched from the Caviar Green drive in the Live to two WD AV-GP (WD20EURS) 2 TB drives in the 4 TB WDBACG0020HCH model sent for review. The Duo draws only 14 W when active and 5 W when drive spindown occurs after the Energy Save mode kicks in, which is programmable from 10 to 60 minutes in 10 minute increments. There is no fan, so the Duo runs very quietly.

Related Items:

WD My Book Live Reviewed
WD Doubles Your Cloud Storage Fun
WD Announces 100 MB/s Single Drive NAS
New to the Charts: Buffalo LinkStation Live LS-CHL
Slideshow: Buffalo LinkStation Live LS-CHL

User reviews

Average user rating from: 3 user(s)

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Questions, review comments and opinions about products not based on actual use will not be published.

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2.7 Features :
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1.7 Reliability :
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Bought this About a year ago for home use, 6T in raid

Overall rating: 
Reviewed by Henk
August 04, 2014
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Had one drive broken within a month. Have bought an Synology later for business use, that is much more usefull, faster and with much more self install able options of course it is some more expensive. But it is worth every penny. The wd I use still at home, but it is slow with my Mac and has a slow web interface. For use as a streaming device ok. But my samsung tv does not like it to play directly dlna. Use an jailbroken Apple TV then it functions ok.


WD MyBookLive 2TB RAID 1 on Gigabit LAN

Overall rating: 
Reviewed by Jeff
February 21, 2014
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I too am on a Gigabit LAN. My router is identifying the connection to the MyBookLiveDuo as 100 Full Duplex. My txfer speeds are slow as well as response time while using the web interface. Despite being slow I recommend this device for a home network.


WD MyBookLive 2TB RAID 1 on Gigabit LAN is only 4MBs Read & 2MBs Write

Overall rating: 
Reviewed by Dave Bunting
April 13, 2012
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Your reports of 25-50 MBs I suspect you mean 25-50Mbs bits rather than Bytes.

With the WD MyBookLive NAS 2TB at RAID 1 on my Gigabit LAN known to commonly transfer at like 600Mbs between computers I get only 17Mbs = 2 MBs write and only 33Mbs= 4MBs read.

The first WD MyBookLive NAS 2TB I got was only half these speeds and the replacement now is the speeds above. The firmware is a little different so newer firmware apparently does double the speed.

The WD MyBookLive NAS 2TB is just unbelievably and very unacceptably slow! They're advertised as "gigabit."

These are only WiFi speeds! But there's no WiFi in my setup, only hard-wired ethernet using single manufactured cables and a Gigabit switch!

Any suggestion anyone has to bring this otherwise beautiful NAS up to speed would be very much appreciated.